Tuesday, September 10, 2013


***Disclaimer--I love my family, I love the Lord and most of the time I love my life, Mom please don't read this and panic about me, I am fine... it's just reality***

One of my co-workers suggested a reality show should be made of my family.  Non-scripted, just good ole Carr life for people to watch and either laugh at or jump up and down screaming "Praise God that's not our life".  Some days I think it would have to be the latter.

The reality is that life is hard to navigate.  I cannot even begin to believe some of the things we squeeze into a day, week, month, hour, etc.  We have kick back days, easy going times, but honestly, a lot of them end up leading to craziness.  One of us will go to do just one little thing and that will lead to a Tsunami of issues.  I can not ever figure out why the smallest of projects, the tiniest of ideas turn into huge complicated processes.  I have never come to an answer for this quandary in life, but I have come to expect it. I expect but not accept this, because, really, who wants that??

You know the ole saying, two steps forward, one step back.  I often think the reality of the situation is 2 steps forward 18 and a half steps back.

This song comes into my head all the time, "I get knocked down, but I get up again, ain't nothing gonna keep me down."  

In reality, the song that should come into my head is this one, "I get down, HE lifts me up, I get down, HE lifts me up .... every time i'm down the Lord lifts me up".

I try not to complain all the time, I really do my best to have a good attitude about whatever comes our way. I am the optimist in the family and you have to have one.  I call my husband the pessimist, but every time he just comes back and says, "No, I'm the realist. Someone has to be." The reality is, we don't know what is going to come our way or how it is going to come into play in our lives.

Mike and I have been able to look back at the past three years.  We have always been there for each other.  There has been good, bad and pretty stinking ugly.  But we have been there for each other.  The situations that come into play aren't fun to deal with, aren't easy to accept, aren't situations that you want to ever think of yourself about being a part of, but hey it's a hurdle in our road of life that each time we have been able to overcome.

We have some big decisions that we would like to be making in the next little bit.  Some hopes and dreams and ideas that we have. Some of them are major steps that to be honest with you, as exciting as they may be, as much as I can't even begin to fathom the good that can come from them... the reality of life hits me a bit.  What if?  What if our 2 steps forward is now 25 steps back?  What if more failure comes our way?  What if we experience more loss?  What if, what if, what if??

A couple weeks ago I thought I may experience my first panic attack.  I found this slightly amusing since everything else we have already been through in life hadn't caused one, then there should be no way that the thoughts and feelings happening at the time should make me feel the way I did.  Looking back, I truly think that its the unknown.  Everything else happened.  It was real.  There was no choice, well there were choices but in reality, the choice was to survive or give up. Make it or break it.

Taking unknown steps can be exciting, thrilling, eye opening and down right scary.  I love a thrill ride, put me on a roller coaster or tower of terror any time... but I don't want those to be the theme of my life.  If they are part of the theme I want to know the safety belts are working and there can be laughter among the screaming of the ride.
California Adventures Tower of Terror Theme Park Ride.  One of my favorites! 
I posed the question the other day about why stepping out in faith is such a hard thing to do?  I know faith is about trusting God, leaning on Him.  But if I know God is absolutely always with me and I have gotten through some amazingly high and low times in my 31 years on this Earth... why worry now?  Why panic?  Why be concerned with the "what if's" instead of they "why not's" or "what if we don't".  

I don't have the answer to any of these things right now.  I am praying that God continues to reveal His everlasting love and guidance to us and I ease up on my "having to know the answer right now" side of me.

I know that without God there is no way we would have overcome the past three years of waves crashing down on us but that darn human side of me just keeps getting in the way of seeing God's path for us right now.

Reality is, God is in control.  Without Him we have nothing, with Him we cannot fail.  We get "down" because of sin, being humans and because we try it our own way.  "He lifts us up" because of His unconditional love and keeps putting us back in the right place.

Lord, I don't want to do life on my own.  Be my reality.  Be the reality of my family, be our path, our guide.  And please give me the patience to wait for you and the self-control to let go.  Amen. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I want to be His Masterpiece!

I know we all struggle with so many different things in life.  Some of us struggle with small things (what to wear, what to do, who to text, how to cure boredom, etc),  Some of us really struggle with who God has made us to be.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately.  I have been in a funk.  Really it isn't a small funk.  I have been easily offended, crabby, unhappy about things that I am sure I should be content with, I've been comparing myself to others (good and bad) and been totally frustrated with my schedule, organization (mostly the lack there of), my abilities, my lack of abilities, my parenting skills, if I am doing enough as a wife, mom and friend, the fact that I have like no friends that I do anything with... I could go on and on and on but it's overwhelming writing it all down right now.

I have the best of intentions.  I want to call people more, write people more, not get frustrated with my kids, do all kinds of special little things for my husband.  I want to learn more about business so I am a better business owner.  I want to have a ton of energy and pizzazz for my morning job.  I want to have working out in my schedule and when I finally do get home each day I know if I just spent 15 minutes picking things up I would be so much less frustrated walking into the house the next day.

The truth is, the last month has been super tough on me.  There are many reasons.  There are reasons I have no problem admitting, reasons it makes me sad to admit and reasons that I really don't want to.  You know those things we all have hidden in our dark corners (the self doubt, the fear, the uncertainty).

I have been working on the next three months of staff meetings for my morning job.  In hearing things going on in people's lives, in having empathy for their struggles and times in life, I was taken back to a few of my favorite lessons that I have done some speaking on.  There are two amazing guys.  They are called "The Skit Guys"  .  Please check them out, support them, use their video's and scripts, be encouraged and encourage others.  Ok I have digressed.

I have realized that as I have been working on bringing together the next three months of meetings, that the messages I want to be sharing are messages I need to be encouraged by right now in my own life.  I have been totally down on myself lately.  I keep feeling super inadequate.  I feel like no matter what I do, someone has to come and fix what I have done.  I feel like as soon as I get something started, I have to move onto something else and I don't get to see a project to completion.  I feel like no matter how hard I try, it isn't hard enough.  No matter how much I give, I need to give more.  No matter how I feel, I need to feel differently.   There are so many "I's" involved with my feelings.  I don't want to give too much away as I know some of the team I work with could be reading this, but we will be watching some skit guys in the next few months.  As frustrated as I have been feeling, I know that one thing is true.  I am God's Masterpiece.  I am not junk. " I am God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus."

I want to leave you with a video from Youtube of a skit.  Now these guys have some hilarious skits, some skits that make you feel "normal" and some that truly help you contemplate and understand God's work and purpose for your life.  This is one of those.  Be encouraged, be inspired, be challenged.  I know I watched this again tonight and I am completely challenged to ask God to chisel away at the things hindering me.  Sometimes asking for help and for something new and different is one of the hardest things to do.

I am a Masterpiece.  I am a Masterpiece. I am a Masterpiece.  I am a Masterpiece.  

Monday, September 2, 2013

Produce, Produce, Produce!

This Sunday, My daughter and I went to Denio's, which is a local flea market and farmers market!  I made a menu out for the month of September.  During the month we will have 8  to 12 crock pot meals.  I did calculations, after I decided what meals we would do and went off to Denio's with our daughter!  Our first stop was to buy a little cart to hold all of our produce.  We have been to Denio's before and all end up carrying a bunch of bags and then have to figure out what to do with them when we stop someplace else throughout the day there.  The cart will make it so much easier for all of our days to come at denio's, the beach (like we ever go there), the park, or any other farmers market.

Check out this picture of Miss A carting around our produce!  This cart is FULL!  We got so many different items.  We went a little later in the day as well, we have found that the prices start to get cut at this point on a Sunday so the vendors don't have to take as much home.

We got onions, avocados, celery, cucumbers, zucchini, red potatoes, spaghetti squash, grapes, nectarines, bananas, tomatoes, oranges, kale, limes, broccoli, green beans, corn on the cob, ginger,  and more.  We got at least 1 pound of everything, many times more.  We got 5 pounds of the oranges.  All of this for $40 (and 5.50 of that was for local honey).  I thought this was really a great price.  All of the produce is fresh and we have realized how much tastier it is and how much longer it last than the produce we get at the store.